Saturday, September 27, 2014

Good health and Wellbeing workshops at IIM, Indore.

 I love to go to the beautiful campus of IIM, Indore. There is something in the air and the wonderful view from this abode of learning perched on a hillock. The lush greenery nurtured by the recent rains added to the beauty and the fact that much of the construction work in the core area is complete has contributed to the scenic splendor – a delightful blend of man-made structures and natural beauty. 
The venue for the Pranayama sessions is shifted to first floor hall in the new sports complex. It is a beautiful, well ventilated hall, ideally suited for Pranayama  with a lovely view of the Olympic size swimming pool to the east and the infinite green view on the west. The workshop went very well and I think this is my best even experience ever at IIMI, as I felt very happy and satisfied with the participation of ten students. Almost all of them bought Yoga mats which declares the intention of practicing. They were in-time for all the sessions and were quite focused and highly participative. I enjoyed their responses and was delighted with their questions. As this is a workshop with 2 credits, I conduct a quiz and the mean score in this workshop is higher by 14%. That correlates with my subjective opinion. The class representative has done an excellent job and this helped me a lot. I was inspired by their resolutions and the personal plans they made to enjoy a  higher level of good health and well being. This is one of the best-ever workshop experiences for me. Thank you, dear students, for the wonderful opportunity and I look forward to meeting many of you at Nainital next month and would be happy if you choose to participate in the Stress Management workshop in VI Term.  I am also thinking of offering a "Being Happier" workshop in the VI Term.
Apart from the workshop for the students, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to do a 5 session workshop for the faculty/staff and families. This was real gift for me because many of my friends attended and I had an opportunity to meet their family members. I could also connect more closely with many others with whom I interacted and who helped me in my work. I also made new friends. The gorgeous view of the setting sun in the western sky was an added bonus!
I am grateful to The Director, The Dean, PGP Chair and PGP Office for the opportunity. I am grateful to each and everyone who participated in the workshops and gave me the opportunity to share Pranayama and take another step in walking the path of the purpose of my life.

Health and Happiness (Integral Being) Retreat at SaraCon, Auroville

Yet another new venue for me in Auroville and this event was organized under the aegis of Auroville Retreats. This si also an experiment (in continuation of the preparatory work I have been doing in connection with the relocation form Auroville), specifically aimed at making my trawl to Auroville self-sufficient. 

It was a small but fully focused and highly interested and participative group. One of the participants came all the way from Singapore to specifically participate in the retreat. Vikram, who organized the event from Auroville also chose to participate and that made teh event very special for me – the first organizer in Auroville for my events being part of the event!
The retreat went quite well but I found that I needed more time, despite all the preparation. However, I could flow with the questions and could decide on the fly how to pour the retreat into the available time (without the usual internal debate!). The preparation and experiments are paying dividends.

I am celebrating many a thing out of this event. What I celebrate most is the request from the group to have a follow up session in November. In my opinion, the retreats are the best way to share what I like to share because we can encompass the dimensions of health, inner harmony and happiness integrally. It becomes truly integral when we have a follow up session to deepen the practice- the pathway to actually enjoy the benefits in the life!  That is why practice is the fourth petal of integral being.

Pranayama, Stress Management, Happiness and Integral Being Workshops at Savitri Bhavan, Auroville

 These are a set of workshops over two months in which I experimented a lot. The experiments span many aspects – duration, number of sessions; using video vs. not using video clips; using power point vs. speaking extempore only; re-orienting stress management workshop to reduce and compress (as it has gown and grown over a period of time) without losing anything essential, make happiness workshop more crisp, running good health and Integral Being workshops in parallel etc.   

The reason behind all this is my plans to relocate from Auroville and to see how I can continue the workshops with short visits.

I am grateful to Savitri Bhavan and all the participants who gave me the opportunity in time and space for this experimentation. I am now confident that I can adapt to any event within the ambit of Health, Harmony and Happiness and adapt on the fly to situations, venues, facilities, need for translation, variances in the groups and many unforeseen twists and turns that I have seen in doing workshops over the past 7 years. A good analogy is that very river flows to the seas but each river is unique and no man can step into the same river twice.
I feel grateful to all the Syamala for attending all the events and for her encouragement, support and feedback.

Stress Management Workshop at Arka, Auroville

It is interesting that after 7 year and more than 100 workshops in Auroville, this is a new venue for me and a new kind of group- a group of Chinese visitors. Lijun met me a few months ago and we had a  very interesting discussion to do workshops for groups from China.  I enjoyed the meeting with err and was excited about the opportunity to work with groups from China. This event was culminating instance for the meeting.
Lijun not only organized the event but she also was the translator. She had a good rapport with the group and added positive energy to the event, leading to a very highly participative event. I found that the interaction and questions from this group was one of the highest in translated events. I felt very satisfied and happy and am grateful to the group and Lijun.

Pranayama Workshop at Sri Aurobindo Center, Berlin

I was so captivated by the beauty, architecture and vibrancy of Berlin when I was here last year that I wondered why it is not a popular destination for India tourists. I have not seen a single Indian tourist group either this year or the last. I am sure that it will catch up soon and would not lag behind the most popular destinations like London, Rome, Paris and Switzerland. May be, it would happen very soon if a couple of Bollywood movies are made in Berlin.  
Berlin is also special because of the opportunity to be with Isa, who devotes so much of her time and energy to SAC and Goerg, who goes to work at 5AM so that he can work for SAC in the evenings - very inspiring to be just with them. Isa took me to that wonderful park in Potsdam and Goerg ook me and Isa to the 2nd World War Memorial in East Berlin.
The workshop went very well and it is a pleasure and privilege to share Pranayama with a group like this. It was wonderful to connect with some of the people I knew earlier like Gundi, Moona and all. I was inspired by the positive energy, enthusiasm and dedication in building the Auroville Garden in Berlin.
I could also spend a day at the Museum Island and one morning at the Parliament. Berlin radiates recent history and it was fascinating to visit the Parliament and the Museums are some of the best. Germany won the world cup when I was there and the air was charged with the joy of a nation celebrating! I went to the Brandenburg gate on the morning after the world cup finals and the air was still ringing with the celebrations of the day before with giant screen for public viewing. Meditation at the room of silence was something that can’t be described.
Berlin. I would love to go there again and again. And, again.